Brandon McCoy Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • 16th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Had a wasted year at UNLV. Put together a reasonably impressive statistical profile but didn’t really elevate the level of that team, as the coaching staff struggled to leverage his presence in a fairly weak conference.
    • UNLV won just 20 of its 33 games and missed the NCAA Tournament.
    • Averaged 23.6 points per 40 minutes[2] on 59% true shooting and compiled a 23.8 PER in 33 appearances last season[3].
    • UNLV had a +13.5 pace-adjusted point differential with him in the lineup[4] but played only the 122nd-toughest schedule in the country[5].
  • Soon to be 20-year-old[6] with 949 NCAA minutes, 117 minutes with the United States National Team at the 2017 U19 FIBA World Cup and 180 minutes at the 2015 adidas Nations and Nike Global Challenge of experience under his belt.
  • Seven-foot, 245-pound center who got most of his offense in the post. Other than that, got a few touches flashing to the foul line to catch the ball in face-up position and roaming around the baseline at the dunker spot.
    • Did very little in pick-and-roll. In instances where he set high ball-screens, mostly rolled into post position or floated around the perimeter for a catch-and-shoot jumper.
  • Was an effective rim protector when well positioned and a dominant defensive rebounder but didn’t show much in terms of effort and activity when forced to guard out in the perimeter, which helps explain why someone with his measurements, athleticism and production is likely to end up drafted in the mid-second round.

OFFENSE

  • Was the go-to option. Didn’t play with a lot of force trying to establish deep position but relied on his large frame to get good enough seals consistently.
    • Logged 27.5% usage rate.
    • UNLV didn’t space the floor very well around him, so opponents often crowded the lane shadowing his post-ups and threw hard doubles at him more often than you’re used to seeing these days.
      • Struggled when crowded or doubled, having not yet developed dexterity using escape dribbles to buy room and pass it out.
        • Averaged 3.7 turnovers per 40 minutes.
      • Flashed some court vision making crosscourt passes with his back to the basket but can’t be considered a reliable shot creator for others at this point.
        • Assisted on just 3.5% of UNLV’s scores when he was on the floor.
      • Dominated against single coverage, not just against Mountain West competition but doing very well in the game against Arizona as well.
        • Does not have an advanced post game. Didn’t show much in terms of being able to work his man out of position with pivot moves, shot fakes and head fakes. Does not seem to have the lightest of feet.
        • Isn’t really a bully but for the most part relied on general size and strength to bump his man back and create space for simple hooks or to go up strong off two feet. Has some touch on non-dunk finishes, even showing a scoop layup to attempt finishing around length, but nothing all that special.
          • Shot 67.7% on his 200 attempts at the rim, with almost a third of them unassisted[7].
          • Earned 8.1 foul shots per 40 minutes.
      • Flashed a quick turnaround lean-in jumper against opponents who held their ground and took a few face-up near-standstill shots, especially on his catches around the foul line. Looked capable but is below average away from the rim at this point of his development.
        • Shot 36.6% on 153 two-point shots away from the rim, with just 15 of his 56 makes unassisted.
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense, roaming around the baseline at the dunker spot and sprinting up the court in transition. Also proved to be coordinated enough to catch, take a dribble for balance and launch a floater with a defender between him and the basket on poor passes.
  • Poor screener. Didn’t draw contact often and not even because he was slipping picks to beat his defender on a race to the rim as he rarely rolled hard to the basket off picks. Either rolled to post-up or looked to set up catch-and-shoot jumpers. Took a few three-point shots out of the pick-and-pop but didn’t show to be any sort of real asset from the outside yet, not just at the point of attack but even as a spot-up floor-spacer.
    • Gets little elevation and releases the ball out in front but can shoot over contests due to his height. Has some touch but a slow trigger.
      • Shot just three-for-nine from three-point range.
      • Did make 41 assisted two-point shots away from the basket, at a pace of 1.7 makes per 40 minutes, which seems decent enough for a pure center.
      • Hit 72.5% of his 193 foul shots.
  • Has a seven-foot-two wingspan[8] to rebound outside of his area. Is a quick leaper and can go back up to attempt immediate scores but so-so touch limited his effectiveness in a crowd.
    • Collected 12.7% of UNLV’s misses when he was on the floor.
    • Shot just 64.3% on 66 putback attempts.

DEFENSE

  • Effective rim protector when well positioned. Quick leaper off two feet stepping up to the front of the basket. Able to leverage his nine-foot-two standing reach well to challenge shots. Blocked a lot of shots with his left hand. Even flashed some preventive rotations that discouraged opponents from getting all the way to the rim.
  • Iffy help defender on long rotations, though. Sold out for blocks at times. Blocked a lot of shots but a physical specimen like him, playing against the level of competition that he did, was expected to be more impressive and elevate the level of his defense, which didn’t really happen.
    • Averaged 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • Averaged 28.5 minutes per game on a team that allowed 56.7% shooting at the rim, which ranked 76th in the country[9].
    • UNLV ranked 174th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
  • Did poorly when asked to extend pick-and-roll coverage beyond the foul line:
    • Hunches rather than bends his knees getting down in a stance;
    • Isn’t very quick in his reactions out in space;
    • Doesn’t prioritize middle, giving up an easy path for the ball-handler to decline the pick;
    • Rarely made multiple-effort plays;
    • Didn’t use his length to make plays in the passing lanes;
      • Averaged just 0.6 steal per 40 minutes.
  • So-so attention to his boxout responsibilities, which didn’t matter against Mountain West competition because of his edge in general size and athleticism but needs to be improved as that advantage won’t be there every night at the next level.
    • Collected 25.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

[6] DOB: 6/11/1998

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to measurements at the NBA Combine

[9] According to hoop-math

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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Jaren Jackson, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ninth-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • 18-year-old[2] without a lot of high level experience. Logged just 764 NCAA minutes. Other than that, has just 85 minutes with the United States National Team at the 2016 U17 FIBA World Cup and an appearance at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit under his belt[3].
  • Averaged 20 points per 40 minutes[4] on 64.7% true shooting and compiled a 25.1 PER last season.
  • Michigan State had a +34.9 pace-adjusted point differential with him in the lineup[5], though it only played the 62nd-toughest schedule in the country[6].
  • Six-foot-11, 236-pound inside-outside big who got a fair amount of touches with his back to the basket in the post, without a lot of space to work with. Projects as a full time center in the pros but logged almost all of his minutes with another center on the floor in college. Shot the ball a lot better during the conference part of the schedule and made a few out of the pick-and-pop but still figures to be only a capable spot-up shooter in the near future.
    • Figures to be a good finisher out of the pick-and-roll but didn’t have many, if any, opportunities to do that at Michigan State.
  • Often matched up against the rangier of opposing big men but still managed to make a massive impact as a rim protector. Wasn’t stretched a whole lot in East Lansing but figures to offer a ton of versatility in terms of pick-and-roll coverage based on his coordination and agility out in space.
    • On the other hand, fouled a ton, which kept him from being a high-minutes player.

OFFENSE

  • Was sought after quite a bit in the block. Doesn’t get a lot of deep seals but creates good enough angles to get the ball around the mid-post area. Hasn’t yet developed a lot of polish but did very well one-on-one.
    • Logged 23.5% usage rate.
    • Didn’t show much in terms of head fakes, shot fakes, face-up jumpers or fade-away jumpers.
    • Was very productive with basic turnaround hooks and running hooks, proving to have soft touch with either hand.
    • Flashed a slick pivot-to-pass move but for the most part only spotted cutters and shooters when they were evident, aside from posting a displeasing turnover rate for someone who wasn’t a risk taker.
      • Assisted on just 9.2% of Michigan State’s scores when he was on the floor.
      • Averaged 3.2 turnovers per 40 minutes.
    • Can’t really be considered a power play but looked to back down weaker matchups a decent amount and didn’t shy away from contact.
      • Earned seven free throws per 40 minutes.
  • Shot the ball very well as a weak-side floor-spacer, even flashing some advanced footwork in a few instances, whether it was catching it on the hop on spot-ups or adjusting his feet quickly after moving to an open spot.
    • Has a compact release, launching the ball out in front but managing to get his shots off over closeouts comfortably enough due to his height and the good deal of elevation he gets.
    • Took 41.3% of his shots from long range. Nailed 39.6% of his 96 three-point shots, at a pace of five such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • Has the touch. Hit 79.7% of his 133 foul shots.
    • Took and made a few shots out of the pick-and-pop but for the most part didn’t look as capable when an opponent forced him to rush through his mechanics. Certainly not yet the sort of shot maker who opens up driving lanes at the point of attack.
  • Demanded closeouts, which opened up paths for him to put the ball on the floor. Very well coordinated attacking out of triple threat position. Likes to go left, has long strides and maintains his balance through contact to get all the way to the basket on straight line drives.
    • Is not a powerful leaper off one foot with an opponent attached to his hip but proved able to elevate off two feet off a jump-stop with power.
    • Only an up-and-down finisher, not someone who can hang or adjust his body in the air. But proved to be ambidextrous at the basket, used his length well to score around rim protectors on scoop finishes and showed pretty good touch on non-dunk finishes.
      • Shot 65.4% on his 108 attempts at the rim[7].
  • Wasn’t asked to isolate against his man out in the perimeter often but did flash some shiftiness in the game against Illinois, shaking his man side-to-side with multiple dribbles between the legs and getting by him on his way to the basket.
      • Didn’t show much of anything in terms of running floaters, step-back or stop-and-pop jumpers and passing on the move.
  • Didn’t have the space to roll hard to the basket.
    • Less than half of his makes at the rim were assisted.
    • Despite his seven-foot-five wingspan[8], was not particularly productive on the offensive glass.
      • Collected just 8.7% of Michigan State’s misses when he was on the floor.
      • But did finish his 19 putback attempts at a 77.8% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Excellent rim protector. Challenged everything he was close by. Showed a ton of versatility as a shot blocker:
    • Stepping up to the front of the basket, going up off two feet and making full use of his nine-foot-two standing reach;
    • Going up off one foot coming off the weak-side in help-defense;
    • Keeping pace with smaller players on straight line drives and blocking shots defending on the ball;
      • Averaged 5.5 blocks per 40 minutes.
      • Was the main reason why opponents shot 45.8% at the rim against Michigan State, which ranked second in the country[9].
  • All that activity near the basket came at the cost of him getting into constant foul trouble.
    • Averaged 5.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes, which limited him to just 21.8 minutes per game.
  • Was asked to extend out to the top of the key consistently, either hedging or showing-and-staying-out-an-extra-second to try preventing the ball handler from turning the corner right away or getting to the middle on side pick-and-rolls. Did well more often than not.
    • Very fluidly sliding laterally and able to keep up with smaller players stride-for-stride on straight line drives foul line down.
    • Can still improve in drop-back defense, in terms of not letting the roll man get behind him.
  • Was not asked to pick up smaller players on switches out on an island. Figures to have the agility for it but unclear.
  • So-so attention to his boxout responsibilities. Not all that physical either. Showed over-reliance on quickness chasing the ball off the rim, which didn’t go over great as the level of competition got tougher.
    • Collected 19.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor through the season overall but just 17.7% against Big Ten competition.
    • Had the best defensive rating among rotation players on a team that ranked 10th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 9/15/1999

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to RealGM

[6] According to Ken Pomeroy

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to the measurements at the NBA Combine

[9] According to hoop-math

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Wendell Carter, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Had a great year. If not for Marvin Bagley III on the same team taking away the spotlight, would probably be even more highly touted by now.
  • Has the physical profile (six-foot-10, 259 pounds[1]) of a pure center in a time where pure centers are devalued but showed the skill he was previously known for and surprised with his nimbleness out in space.
  • Has a good deal of high level experience for a just-turned 19-year-old[2]:
    • 997 NCAA minutes with Duke;
    • 206 minutes defending the United States National Team at the 2015 U16 FIBA Americas and 2016 U17 FIBA World Cup;
    • 82 minutes at the 2016 adidas Nations;
    • An appearance at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit.
  • Averaged 20.2 points per 40 minutes[3] on 62.8% true shooting and compiled a 26.3 PER in 37 appearances last season[4].
  • Duke played the 15th-toughest schedule in the country[5] and had a +33.3 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor, which was the best net rating on the team among rotation players[6].
  • Played primarily center, though shared the court with Marques Bolden some.
    • Got most of his touches in the post.
    • Didn’t roll hard often but flashed a catch-and-shoot three-pointer out of the pick-and-pop.
    • Guarded pick-and-rolls mostly below the foul line during the first half of the season.
    • Defended the front of the basket when Duke went to a full time zone during the conference part of the schedule.

OFFENSE

  • Advanced post game for someone his age:
      • Power moves;
      • Head fakes;
      • Shot fakes;
      • Fake pivot move;
      • Pivot move to pass;
      • Turnaround, fadeaway jumper;
      • Most often looking for right handed hook but has a counter finishing with his off hand;
      • Struggled with touch during the second half of the season.
        • Shot 36.8% on 95 two-point attempts away from the basket[7].
      • Decent passer out of hard double teams with good court vision but not some exceptional passer and turned it over a displeasing amount;
        • Assisted on 12.9% of Duke’s scores when he was on the floor.
        • Averaged three turnovers per 40 minutes while logging 22.6% usage rate.
      • Prefers to rely on skill but doesn’t shy away from contact;
        • Averaged 6.8 foul shots per 40 minutes.
    • Didn’t roll hard to the basket often out of setting ball-screens:
      • Part of the problem was Bagley, III not always spacing out to the three-point line and Trevon Duval being a poor shooter but part of it was due to lack of explosiveness;
      • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs in transition and sneaking behind the defense with time to load up but can’t go up strong off two feet in traffic;
      • Proved to be coordinated enough for instances where he needed to catch, take a dribble for balance and go up for a finish with a defender between him and the basket;
      • Has decent touch on non-dunk finishes;
        • Shot 70.2% on 178 attempts at the rim.
    • Only a capable open shot shooter at this point of his development:
      • Fluidity of release improved the second half of the season, though it remains not quick enough to get a good look off when rushed by a closeout or over a contest;
      • Flashed quick shots out of the pick-and-pop and out of roll-and-replace but most suited for spot-ups as of now;
      • Touch was OK, though it can certainly improve;
        • Shot 73.8% on 168 free throws.
      • Shooting percentage indicates he certainly can become a real asset as a floor-spacer down the line but was not perfectly reflective of how real a long range shooter he is right now, as most of his misses were considerably short;
        • Nailed 41.3% of his 46 three-point shots, but at a pace of just 1.9 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • Doesn’t play with a particularly impressive motor or toughness disentangling himself from boxouts but was pretty effective crashing the offensive glass.
      • Has a seven-foot-four wingspan[8] to rebound outside of his area.
        • Collected 12.7% of Duke’s misses when he was on the floor.
      • Decent second jump fighting for tip-ins.
        • Shot 75% on his 41 putbacks attempts.
    • Flashed a dribble drive from the elbow down, lacking an explosive first step but able to maintain his balance through contact, but isn’t suited to attack closeouts and hasn’t yet develop an in between game in terms of stop-and-pop jumpers, step-back jumpers, running floaters or floaters off jump-stops.

DEFENSE

  • Effective rim protector when he was able to hang back and patrol the lane, which was less challenging for him to do once Duke installed a full time zone:
    • Has decent short area lateral quickness;
    • Was proactive stepping up the front of the basket as the last line of defense;
    • Not an explosive leaper off two feet in a pinch but acted as a shot blocking threat thanks to his nine-foot-one standing reach.
      • Averaged 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • Challenged shots via verticality very well. Has a thick frame some guards will just bounce back off on impact, though at a risk of getting into foul trouble;
      • Averaged 4.2 personal fouls per 40 minutes.
    • Proved himself a willing charge drawer;
    • Was able to stick with ball handlers from the foul line down in college;
    • When he had less ground to cover, developed some awareness shadowing isolations and making preventive rotations that kept the dribble driver from getting all the way to the rim, which he didn’t show earlier in the year when Duke was guarding man-to-man.
  • When forced to guard out in space, flashed some decent nimbleness but doesn’t figure to be suited to venture far away from the basket in the pros.
    • Was able to influence ball handlers on hedges but can’t hustle back to contest effectively at the rim.
    • Unclear how well he can keep action in front if asked to show hard at the three-point line.
    • Can bend his knees to get down in a stance some and keep pace on straight line drives in a few matchups but isn’t agile enough to stay in front of shifty types.
  • Used his length some to get into passing lanes, though nothing at a difference making level.
    • Averaged 1.2 steals per 40 minutes.
  • Stout post defender.
  • Was attentive to his boxout responsibilities but not exceptionally quick chasing the ball off the rim.
    • Collected 23.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
  • Had the best defensive rating among rotation players on a team that ended up ranked ninth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.

[1] According to Duke’s official listing

[2] DOB: 4/16/1999

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

[6] According to RealGM

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to measurements at this year’s NBA Combine

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Dusan Ristic Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Dusan Ristic is a very experienced 22-year-old[1]:
    • 2,640 minutes over four seasons of college basketball experience at Arizona;
    • 55 minutes at the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational;
    • 403 minutes defending the Serbian National Team at the 2010 and 2011 U16 FIBA European Championships and 2012 U18 FIBA European Championships;
    • 134 minutes defending the Serbian National Team at the 2012 Albert Schweitzer Tournament;
    • 271 minutes with FMP Beograd in the Serbian League in the 2012-2013 season;
    • 39 minutes in the Adriatic League and 8 minutes in the EuroLeague with Red Star in the 2013-2014 season.
  • Most recently, the seven-foot center averaged 18 points per 40 minutes[2] on 60.6% true shooting and compiled a 20.0 PER in 35 appearances last season[3].
  • Arizona played the 68th-toughest schedule in the country[4] and had a +18.8 pace-adjusted point differential in Ristic’s 949 minutes[5].
  • The Serbian got a fair amount of touches in the post and out of ball-screens but was not the priority on offense, logging 21.4% usage rate. He tried to expand his skill-set to accommodate Deandre Ayton by spacing the floor out to the three-point line more proactively this past season but hasn’t yet developed into a real threat from long range.
  • On the other end, Ristic was a so-so rim protector at best in college and doesn’t figure to be particularly impactful in the pros unless he becomes the sort of quick thinking help defender who anticipates rotations, which he has flashed in bits and pieces. He is also not built to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line or pick up smaller players on switches.
    • He averaged 27.1 minutes per game on a team that ranked 255th in opponents’ shooting percentage at the rim, as they converted 62.3% within close range[6].

OFFENSE

  • Ristic uses the strength in his 245-pound frame[7] to get a good seal in the post.
  • He has a patient approach in the post and though he had a strength advantage to knock back his defender on most nights, Ristic liked to rely on shot fakes and fake pivots to work him out of position. He can also launch turnaround hooks with either hand and even flashed a turnaround fade-away jumper from time-to-time. His touch is decent.
    • Ristic hit 54.3% of his 175 two-point shots away from the basket last season[8].
  • He struggled feeling double teams and didn’t show dexterity opting out of the post-up into an escape dribble.
    • Two turnovers per 40 minutes.
  • He never showed particularly impressive instincts passing out of the low post, though it’s fair to point out Arizona didn’t space the floor well enough to encourage diagonal cuts.
    • 6.4% assist rate last season.
  • Ristic is a decent screener who looks to draw contact and influence the on-ball defender but can’t roll hard down the lane or play above the rim as a target for lobs and needs to catch, gather and load up to elevate for power finishes. He’s proven to be a capable scorer at rim level but often struggles with his touch on non-dunk finishes in traffic.
    • 62.6% clip on 123 shots at the rim last season, which is somewhat underwhelming for a seven-footer.
    • As is, he’s often better served rolling into post-ups, which he does quite a bit.
  • Ristic is not a high leaper and doesn’t play with a high motor but is a tough body to boxout and has enough length to rebound outside of his area. He lacks a quick second jump to translate these second chances into immediate scores regularly.
    • 10.1% offensive rebounding rate.
    • 60% shooting on 26 putback attempts.
  • Ristic has a taken a few catch-and-shoot jumpers out of the pick-and-pop. He is more capable from mid-range than three-point range but ultimately doesn’t yet have a dynamic enough release for these types of shots from either range.
  • As a spot-up shooter, Ristic can make the eventual open shot with plenty of time to load up. He has compact mechanics and gets good arc on his jumper but shows a slow release.
    • He nailed 14 of his 30 three-point shots over his four years at Arizona.
    • He hit 69.8% of his 285 free throws during his college career but has shown noticeable improvement in his touch over time, converting 77.7% of his 162 foul shots over the last two seasons.
  • Ristic can hit backdoor cutters on pre-arranged reads and aid the shot creators on dribble hand-offs.

DEFENSE

  • Ristic has better side-to-side movement than expected but isn’t suited to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line.
    • He showed some nimbleness hedging and hustling back to his man in a timely manner in college but ultimately figures to be exposed in the pros.
  • He is not an option to pick up smaller players on switches.
  • He is also unable to closeout to the three-point line in the pick-and-pop.
  • Ristic has flashed some reading skills anticipating rotations to prevent the dribble penetrator from getting all the way to the rim.
  • He is not an easy leaper off two feet but put in the effort to challenge shots via verticality.
    • Just one block per 40 minutes over his time at Arizona.
  • Ristic didn’t use his length to cut off bounce passes and passes over the top around his general area. And though a stout post defender, he doesn’t play with active hands searching for strips.
    • Just 0.5 steal per 40 minutes in college.
  • Ristic is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but isn’t quick reacting to the ball off the rim.
    • He collected just 20.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season.

[1] DOB: 11/27/1995

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to Ken Pomeroy

[5] According to RealGM

[6] According to hoop-math

[7] According to Arizona’s official listing

[8] According to hoop-math

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Omari Spellman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Omari Spellman averaged 15.4 points per 40 minutes[1] on 57.3% effective shooting and posted a 19.5 PER in 40 appearances last season[2].
  • Villanova played the sixth-toughest schedule in the country[3] and had a +27.3 pace-adjusted point differential in Spellman’s 1,125 minutes[4].
  • The six-foot-nine stretch big was a vital part of Villanova’s offense, which often relied on lead guard Jalen Brunson taking his matchup into the post while Spellman vacated the area near the basket by spacing out to the three-point line.
    • Despite logging all of his minutes at center, Spellman took 44.6% of his shots from three-point range.
    • Despite possessing a strength advantage on most nights, given his thick 245-pound frame[5], he posted a low 18.3% usage rate.
  • On the other end, the 20-year-old[6] was an effective rim protector when well positioned and flashed some ability to defend out in space – extending pick-and-roll coverage slightly above the foul line and picking up smaller players on switches, but doesn’t really move in a way that makes you presume he will be as capable in the pros.
  • Other than his two years of college basketball, one of which he redshirted, the Ohio native only has 71 minutes at the 2014 Nike Global Challenge of meaningful experience under his belt.

OFFENSE

  • Spellman has proven to be a pretty good shooter for someone his size. He has a fluid release and good touch, launching the ball from a high point and getting his shots off comfortably over closeouts.
    • Other than spot-ups, Spellman has shown he’s able to take three-pointers out of the pick-and-pop as well, proving himself nimble enough to screen, relocate to an open spot and set his feet quickly.
    • Spellman nailed 43.3% of his 150 three-point shots, at a pace of 5.3 such attempts per 40 minutes – which is a very appealing rate for a center.
    • He converted 70% of his 70 foul shots – which is not necessarily concerning, but gives you some pause over how killer a shooter he truly is.
  • Spellman hasn’t yet developed a lot of dexterity in terms of handle and coordination attacking closeouts. When forced to put the ball on the floor out of triple threat position, he often ends up dribbling into a post-up, which is how he feels more comfortable with the ball in his hands.
  • Spellman showed a decent mix of power moves and face-up shooting operating out of the mid-post (he enjoys sizing up his man, jab-stepping and launching no-dribble jumpers), though he still has plenty of room to improve in terms of passing out of the block and incorporating pivot moves and fakes into his post-up routine.
    • He hit 42.2% of his 90 two-point shots away from the basket, with over half of them unassisted[7].
    • He assisted on just 4.3% of Villanova’s scores when he was on the floor.
  • When he screened at the point of attack, Spellman was either asked to prioritize popping to the three-point line or isn’t easily inclined to roll hard to the basket. And even when he did, Spellman didn’t show enough explosiveness to play above the rim as a target for lobs, though he flashed appealing coordination in instances when he was forced to catch, take a dribble for balance and go up for a non-dunk finish over a defender between him and the basket.
    • He took just 28.6% of his shots at the rim and hasn’t yet developed versatility to his finishing ability – converting just 59.4% of his 96 shots at the basket.
  • Considering his role on the offense, Spellman was fairly effective in the offensive glass. He doesn’t play with a lot of energy and isn’t a high leaper but is a big body that can be tough to boxout and has a seven-foot-two wingspan[8] to rebound outside of his area or win battles for tap-outs.
    • He collected 9.9% of Villanova’s misses when he was on the floor.
    • But doesn’t have a quick second jump to translate these second chances into immediate scores – finishing his 37 putback at a very lousy 43.8% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Spellman is a so-so pick-and-roll defender.
    • At times, he was able to keep action in front dropping back to prioritize interior defense and moved his feet decently in tight spaces to clog driving lanes.
    • When asked to hedge-and-recover, Spellman struggled to influence the ball handler and then hustle back to the roll man quick enough to relieve the weak-side help-defender and not leave a shooter uncovered for too long.
    • Villanova switched quite aggressively and Spellman had to pick up a smaller player from time-to-time, proving he’s attentive enough to execute strategies that asked him to switch on the fly. He is not built to be able to stay in front of shifty types side-to-side but is able to keep pace on straight line drives decently enough to challenge or block shots from behind.
  • Spellman is also a so-so help defender.
    • Spellman is not always attentive to his responsibilities rotating off the weak-side or stepping up to the front of the basket in rim protection. He is also not very quick covering ground when put in long rotations. Despite his size, he is not very feared.
    • But when well positioned, Spellman was a reasonably effective rim protector. He is a big body that can be challenging to finish around when he’s standing between the opponent and the basket. He’s also pretty long, looked to contest shots via verticality and proved himself a willing charge drawer as well.
      • He averaged 2.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • Spellman is a stout post defender.
    • He’s attentive to his boxout responsibilities but not all that physical, making him a good defensive rebounder but not really dominant.
      • Spellman collected 23.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to Ken Pomeroy

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to Villanova’s official listing

[6] DOB: 7/21/1997

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to Draft Express

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

PJ Washington Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • PJ Washington averaged 15.8 points per 40 minutes on 55.8% true shooting and posted a 16.7 PER[1] in 37 appearances last season.
  • Kentucky played the 12th toughest schedule in the country[2] and had a +9.9 pace-adjusted point differential in Washington’s 1,012 minutes[3].
  • Through the second half of the season, the six-foot-seven bruising big showed the more cerebral and skilled game he was known for before arriving in Lexington.
    • He took outside shots more comfortably, incorporated a little more finesse to his post up routine and started aiding the shot creation process with some passing more proactively.
  • On the other end, the 19-year-old[4] offered some more rim protection via verticality and flashed some intriguing positional defense but his lack of lift near the basket and general quickness out in the perimeter still kept him from being a meaningfully impactful defender.
  • Other than his one year of college basketball, Washington has 222 minutes with the United States National Team at the 2016 U18 FIBA Americas and 2017 U19 FIBA World Cup, 99 minutes at the 2015 Nike Global Challenge and 68 minutes at the 2016 adidas Nations of experience under his belt.
  • At this point, it’s hard to foresee how Washington fits in a modern lineup in the near future. He needs to improve a lot as a shooter to start drawing opposing big men out of the lane consistently, can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs, isn’t an asset to pick up smaller players on switches and doesn’t really protect the rim effectively just yet.

OFFENSE

  • The bulk of Washington’s offense came in the post, as he used the strength in his thick 236-pound frame[5] to set deep position consistently.
    • Later in the season, as opponents were able to match up with his size, Washington no longer relied on power moves 100% of the time and flashed some more skill.
      • He showed some fake pivots and head fakes to try getting his man out of position, though continued to almost always look for a right-handed hook within close range.
      • He can move his feet OK on pivot moves and his touch is pretty good, as he converted his 139 shots at the rim at a 69.8% clip[6], with half of his makes unassisted, though part of them came on putbacks.
      • He also showed a face-up game on a few instances; he lacks a quick first step to get by his man but can maintain his balance through contract to bully him all the way to the rim quite often. His face-up jumper is not yet an efficient asset, though he can make a floater to finish over length from the in-between area from time-to-time.
      • Washington proved he is able to handle double teams, showing dexterity taking escape dribbles to buy himself room and court vision to find teammates on the opposite end of the floor on cross-court passes.
    • He still did most of his eating on power moves, though. As a wrecking ball, he earned 8.2 foul shots per 40 minutes[7].
  • His second best way to contribute on offense was on the offensive glass, where he converted 90.5% of his 28 putback attempts, able to create space to go back for immediate scores thanks to his strength. He is not a quick leaper or all that instinctive chasing the ball off the rim, though – collecting just 7.9% of Kentucky’s misses when he was on the floor.
  • Washington lacks the lift to play above the rim as a target for lobs going up in traffic.
  • When opponents zoned against Kentucky, Washington was put in the foul line to try igniting passing sequences. He flashed a decent understanding on how to operate as a hub to facilitate and some nifty interior passing – assisting on 10.4% of Kentucky’s scores when he was on the floor.
  • His catch-and-shoot jumper looked more fluid as he seemed more comfortable taking outside shots later in the season, even getting up a few out of the pick-and-pop, but his release is slow at this point of his development and the ball doesn’t go in yet.
    • He missed 16 of his 21 three-point attempts, while hitting just 60.6% of his 208 free throws.

DEFENSE

  • Washington was proactive stepping up to the front of the basket and can go up off two feet to challenge shots via verticality and his eight-foot-nine standing reach[8]. He was also aggressive rotating inside in help defense, sometimes to a fault, helping off the strong-side corner.
    • But he has no explosiveness to play above the rim as a shot blocker – averaging just 1.2 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • He averaged four personal fouls per 40 minutes.
  • Washington proved to be attentive to his boxout responsibilities but struggled to rebound in volume for the same reasons he wasn’t all that productive on the offensive glass – collecting just 14.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
  • He is a stout post defender.
  • Washington flashed the ability to wall off dribble penetration in drop-back pick-and-roll defense.
  • He can bend his knees but doesn’t get that low in a stance and isn’t suited to pick up smaller players on switches, lacking the lateral quickness to react side-to-side out in the perimeter.
  • He sells out on closeouts, gets blown by and exposes the defense behind him.
  • He has not shown much of a knack for making plays in the passing lanes, despite his seven-foot-three wingspan[9] – averaging just 1.1 steals per 40 minutes.

[1] According to RealGM

[2] According to Ken Pomeroy

[3] According to RealGM

[4] DOB: 8/23/1998

[5] According to Kentucky’s official listing

[6] According to hoop-math

[7] According to sports-reference

[8] According to Draft Express

[9] According to the measurements at the Kentucky Combine

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Marvin Bagley, III Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Marvin Bagley, III was the top prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].

Even though he was a late addition, not making his decision to reclassify and join Duke until mid-August, the 19-year-old[2] adapted right away to the highest level of college basketball and was the number one priority in the offense from day one.

Though he projects as a center in the pros, the six-foot-11, 234-pounder[3] played just about every minute with another true big man in the lineup. As a result, opponents matched up their stronger big on the pure center and often designated lighter, smaller types to guard Bagley, which Duke consistently viewed as an opportunity to explore getting him to work mostly below the foul line.

His 25.9% usage-rate led the team and he proved to be worth of those touches. In his 1,118 minutes in Durham, Bagley averaged 24.8 points per 40 minutes on 64% effective shooting and had the highest offensive rating on a team[4] that ranked third in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency[5].

And yet, so much of the intrigue over him isn’t over his production but the way he looks. Bagley is incredibly smooth for someone his size, which influences how he is often seeking to take opposing big men off the dribble.

He is not the sort of modern prototype who can draw his man to the perimeter and shake him side-to-side but Bagley has a very quick first step for a big man and has proven he can get by his man from the high post down.

On top of that, he is an explosive leaper and figures to be an excellent pick-and-roll finisher, while also flashing a three-point shot that looks very fluid.

The concerns regard the other end, where many people question his ability to protect the rim, which in turn lead to questions over his ability to anchor an above average defense. His shot blocking numbers were underwhelming and he didn’t show particularly impressive instincts anticipating rotations.

Duke’s struggles on defense through the non-conference part of the schedule led to Mike Krzyzewski installing a full time zone during the second half of the season, which was incredible to see, given that team had a handful of players who will be given multiple chances to fail in the pros. Bagley wasn’t the only reason why they eventually resorted to that strategy but he was part of the problem.

If he doesn’t develop and has to play with a center by his side more often than not, Bagley probably won’t be considered as much of a difference maker, though it might end up being the most appropriate end game. Thanks to his athletic prowess, he impressed in instances where activity was required of him and projects as someone who will offer flexibility by picking up smaller players on switches often.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 3/14/1999

[3] According to Duke’s official listing

[4] According to our stats’ database

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy